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Encyclopedia > William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen Bryant (November 3, 1794 - June 12, 1878) an American romantic poet, journalist, political adviser, and homeopath. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1086x1409, 257 KB)William Cullen Bryant, poet and editor of the New York Evening Post; full-length, seated. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1086x1409, 257 KB)William Cullen Bryant, poet and editor of the New York Evening Post; full-length, seated. ... is the 307th day of the year (308th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1794 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... is the 163rd day of the year (164th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Romantic poetry was part of the Romantic movement of European literature during the 18th-mid-19th centuries. ... Homeopathy starring at the horrors of Allopathy by Alexander Beydeman, 1857 Homeopathy (also spelled homœopathy or homoeopathy), from the Greek words όμοιος, hómoios (similar) and πάθος, páthos (suffering, disease),[1] is a highly controversial type of alternative medicine that aims to treat like with like. ...

Contents

Life and career

Youth and education

Bryant was born in Cummington, Massachusetts the second son of Peter Bryant, a doctor and later a state legislator, and Sarah Snell. The William Cullen Bryant Homestead, his boyhood home and, later, his longtime family summer retreat, is now a museum. His maternal ancestry traces back to John Alden and Priscilla Mullens, passengers on the Mayflower; his father's, to colonists who arrived about a dozen years later. After just one year at Williams College, he reluctantly studied law at Worthington and Bridgewater in Massachusetts. He was admitted to the bar in 1815. Cummington is a town located in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      In the United States of America, a state legislature is a generic term referring to the... The William Cullen Bryant Homestead (155 acres) is the boyhood home and later summer residence of William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), one of Americas foremost poets and newspaper editors. ... Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882) The Mayflower was the famous ship that transported the Pilgrims from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts (United States), in 1620. ... Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts. ... Worthington is a town located in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. ... Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: , Country United States State Massachusetts County Plymouth County Settled 1650 Incorporated 1656 Government  - Type Open town meeting Area  - Town  28. ...


Bryant had developed an interest in poetry early in life. Under his father's tutelage, he had emulated Alexander Pope and other Neo-Classic British poets. The Embargo, a savage attack on President Thomas Jefferson published in 1808, reflected Dr. Bryant's Federalist political views. The first edition quickly sold out—partly because of the publicity earned by the poet's young age—and a second, expanded edition, which included Bryant's translation of Classical verse, was printed. The youth wrote little poetry while preparing to enter Williams College as a sophomore, but upon leaving Williams after a single year and then beginning to read law, he regenerated his passion for poetry through encounter with the English pre-Romantics and, particularly, William Wordsworth. For other uses, see Alexander Pope (disambiguation). ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads. ...


Poetry

Although "Thanatopsis," his most famous poem, has been said to date from 1811, it is much more probable that Bryant began its composition in 1813, or even later. What is known is that his father took some pages of verse from his son's desk and submitted them, along with his own work, to the North American Review in 1817. Someone at the North American joined two of the son's discrete fragments, gave the result the Greek-derived title Thanatopsis (meditation on death), mistakenly attributed it to the father, and published it. For all the errors, it was well received, and soon Bryant was publishing poems with some regularity. First issue of the North American Review with signature of its editor William Tudor (1779-1830). ...


On January 11, 1821,[1] Bryant, still striving to build a legal career, married Francis Fairchild. Soon after, having received an invitation to address the Harvard University Phi Beta Kappa Society at the school's August commencement, Bryant spent months working on "The Ages," a panorama in verse of the history of civilization, culminating in the establishment of the United States. That poem led a collection, entitled Poems, which he arranged to publish on the same trip to Cambridge. For that book, he added sets of lines at the beginning and end of "Thanatopsis". His career as a poet was launched. Even so, it was not until 1832, when an expanded Poems was published in the U.S. and, with the assistance of Washington Irving, in Britain, that he won recognition as America's leading poet. Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... The Phi Beta Kappa Key The Phi Beta Kappa Society is an academic honor society with the mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. ... Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. ...


Editorial career

Then as now, however, writing poetry could not financially sustain a family. From 1816 to 1825, he practiced law in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and supplemented his income with such work as service as the town's hog reeve. Distaste for pettifoggery and the sometimes absurd judgments pronounced by the courts gradually drove him to break with the profession.   Great Barrington is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. ...


With the help of a distinguished and well-connected literary family, the Sedgwicks, he gained a foothold in New York City, where, in 1825, he was hired as editor, first of the New-York Review, then of the United States Review and Literary Gazette. But the magazines of that day usually enjoyed only an ephemeral life-span. After two years of fatiguing effort to breathe life into periodicals, he became Assistant Editor of the New-York Evening Post, a newspaper founded by Alexander Hamilton that was surviving precariously. Within two years, he was Editor-in-Chief and a part owner. He remained the Editor-in-Chief for half a century (1828-78).[1] Eventually, the Evening-Post became not only the foundation of his fortune but also the means by which he exercised considerable political power in his city, state, and nation. New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and the oldest to have been published continually as a daily. ...


Ironically, the boy who first tasted fame for his diatribe against Jefferson and his Democratic-Republican Party became one of the key supporters in the Northeast of that same party under Jackson. Bryant's views, always progressive though not quite populist, in course led him to join the Free Soilers, and when the Free Soil Party became a core of the new Republican Party in 1856, Bryant vigorously campaigned for John Frémont. That exertion enhanced his standing in party councils, and in 1860, he was one of the prime Eastern exponents of Abraham Lincoln, whom he introduced at Cooper Union. (That speech lifted Lincoln to the nomination, and then the presidency.) Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... The Democratic-Republican Party, also known as the Republican Party , was founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1792. ... For other uses, see Andrew Jackson (disambiguation). ... The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections, and in some state elections. ... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... John Charles Frémont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890), was an American military officer, explorer, the first candidate of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States, and the first presidential candidate of a major party to run on a platform in opposition to slavery. ... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ... The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is a privately funded college in Lower Manhattan of New York City. ...


Later years

In his last decade, Bryant shifted from writing his own poetry to translating Homer. He assiduously worked on The Iliad and The Odyssey from 1871 to 1874. He is also remembered as one of the principal authorities on homeopathy and as a hymnist for the Unitarian Church—both legacies of his father's enormous influence on him. For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... The Iliad is, with The Odyssey, one of the two major Greek epic poems traditionally attributed to Homer, a blind Ionian poet. ... Odysseus and Nausicaä - by Charles Gleyre For other uses, see Odyssey (disambiguation). ... Homeopathy starring at the horrors of Allopathy by Alexander Beydeman, 1857 Homeopathy (also spelled homÅ“opathy or homoeopathy), from the Greek words όμοιος, hómoios (similar) and πάθος, páthos (suffering, disease),[1] is a highly controversial type of alternative medicine that aims to treat like with like. ... Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), in full the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in North America, is a liberal religious denomination formed by the merger in 1961 of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church in America. ...

"Cedarmere", William Cullen Bryant's estate in Roslyn, NY

Bryant died in 1878 of complications from an accidental fall. In 1884, New York City's Reservoir Square, at the intersection of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, was renamed Bryant Park in his honor. The city later named a public high school in his honor. Image File history File linksMetadata Swanson5920a. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Swanson5920a. ... Roslyn is either: Roslyn, New York, United States Roslyn, Washington, United States or: Roslyn, a suburb of Dunedin, New Zealand. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Bryant Park, August 2003 Bryant Park is a 9. ... William Cullen Bryant High School, or Bryant High School for short, is a secondary school located in Queens, New York City, New York which educates grades 9 through 12. ...


Legacy

Although he is now thought of as a New Englander, Bryant, for most of his lifetime, was thoroughly a New Yorker—and a very dedicated one at that. He was a major force behind the idea that became Central Park, as well as a leading proponent of creating the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He had close affinities with the Hudson River School of art and was an intimate friend of Thomas Cole. He defended the immigrant and, at some financial risk to himself, championed the rights of workers to form labor unions. It would be difficult to find a sector of the city's life that he did not work to improve. Central Park is a large public, urban park (843 acres, 3. ... Metropolitan Museum of Art New York Elevation The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often referred to simply as The Met, is one of the worlds largest and most important art museums. ... Thomas Coles View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm, or The Oxbow, 1836 The Hudson River School was a mid-19th century American art movement by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by romanticism. ... Thomas Cole, ca. ...


As a writer, Bryant was an early advocate of American literary nationalism, and his own poetry focusing on nature as a metaphor for truth established a central pattern in the American literary tradition. Yet his literary reputation began to fade in the decade after the nineteenth century's midpoint, and the rise of the new poets in the twentieth century not only cast Bryant into the shadows but made him an example of all that was wrong with poetry. Wrapped together with the "Fireside Poets", he was discarded as a poet of sentimental trash.


A recently-published book, however, argues that a reassessment is long overdue. It finds great merit in a couple of short stories Bryant wrote while trying to build interest in periodicals he edited. More important, it perceives a poet of great technical sophistication who was a progenitor of Walt Whitman, to whom he was a mentor. Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. ...


References

  • William Cullen Bryant: An American Voice by Frank Gado

William Cullen Bryant by Charles H. Brown


Notes

  1. ^ Vital Records of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, Gt Barrington, MA: NEHGS, 1904 (online.) His 1878 biographer, Parke Goodwin, confused the issue of the marriage date through a typographical error, as explained here.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, also known as NEHGS, is the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United States, founded in 1845. ...

External links

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  Results from FactBites:
 
William Cullen Bryant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (485 words)
Bryant's first critically acclaimed work, Thanatopsis, was published in the North American Review in 1817 at age 17, addressing the theme of death as a common uniting fate of humanity.
Bryant was a lifelong political activist, initially as a proponent of the Free Soil Party, and later in life, as a founder of the Republican Party.
Bryant died in 1878 of complications from an accidental fall.
William Cullen Bryant - Encyclopedia, History, Geography and Biography (583 words)
Bryant's work, written in an English romantic style and celebrating the countryside of New England, was well received.
At first an associate editor, he became editor in 1829 and remained in that post until his death, the driving force of a liberal and literate paper he was strongly anti-slavery.
Bryant's muse is tender and graceful, pervaded by a contemplative melancholy, and a love of solitude and the silence of the woods.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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